I’m not cooking a traditional Christmas dinner this year, but I wanted to share a recipe that’s worthy of the holidays. Steak is the perfect meal for an intimate New Year’s Eve dinner. I love that this dish is simple and special at the same time. Good beef doesn’t need a lot of dressing up. You create a crust of salt and pepper, sear it in cast iron, and pop it in the oven to allow it to cook through. I initially set the timer for 120 degrees internal temperature, but decided to wait until it hit 125 so the steak would be rare-approaching-medium-rare.
The chimichurri sauce tastes fresh, full of herbs enriched with a little garlic and olive oil. Unlike rich, buttery sauces, it doesn’t hide the flavor of the beef. Instead it adds an herbaceous savory note that complements the meat. There is enough time to prepare the chimichurri while the steaks are coming to room temperature, which makes it possible to prepare this meal in under an hour.
This Braised Winter Squash & Potatoes with Mustard & Shallots recipe paired with the steak perfectly. I’m not adverse to leftovers, but I didn’t want to have steak two nights in row. Instead I used the remaining chimichurri sauce to marinate and roast some Portabella mushrooms. They were delicious but I’m not going to lie—the steak was better. That said Portabella mushrooms are the steak of the vegetarian world. They are hearty, savory, and even have a meaty texture. I cleaned them and removed the stems, put a little cross hatch in the center of the caps, and lightly coated them with the chimichurri, salt, and pepper. I roasted them for 10 minutes per side at 400 degrees and topped them with the remaining sauce. You can get a walk-through version of this technique here.
This is one of my favorite steak recipes because it’s easy and impressive. Whether you go the steak or mushroom route, may this meal help you ring in a New Year!
Fine Cooking August 2012